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Solo trip to Canada

(36 Posts)
Jonsnowsghost Tue 30-Jul-19 19:00:36

Hi! I'm looking at booking a trip to Calgary (Banff) in Septemeber (long story short, relationship breakdown with holiday booked, I want to do something different instead of that holiday). I will be travelling on my own with an aim to go on a trail horse riding trip around Banff National Park with Unicorn trails.
I will most likely be staying in a hostel in Banff a day before and after the riding trip so I was just wondering if anyone had any tips for the solo female traveller in Bandff or just the best things to do in Banff when i have a day or two to kill!

It'll be the first time I'm travelling alone so I'm excited and a bit nervous!

OP’s posts: |
Beebumble2 Fri 02-Aug-19 18:30:47

Go for a coffee or afternoon tea and wander round the Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel. It’s amazing, built like a Scottish baronial castle.

rookiemere Fri 02-Aug-19 22:19:39

Oh go to the Banff hot springs for sure.

Jonsnowsghost Sat 03-Aug-19 17:28:57


OP’s posts: |
Bellie99 Sat 03-Aug-19 17:46:21

Banff is just lovely. I sat for ages watching a baseball game that was in the park.
I think you can also get the local bus to Canmore caves or just walk by the river.

BestIsWest Sat 03-Aug-19 23:38:06

Get the bus out to Lake Minnewanka and just sit by the lake or go up Sulphur Mountain or mount Norquay. Or get the bus to Johnston Canyon. It’s all beautiful.

MrsEricBana Sat 03-Aug-19 23:51:51

Ooh lucky you! Banff is gorgeous. In the town itself the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is good but really it's all about the great outdoors so maybe not that if short time.
You can walk along the river over a fab pedestrian bridge then along the river again to the Bow Falls which are directly below the Banff Springs Hotel. Up through the hotel, coffee with a view or just in the coffee bar if on a budget and back along the street to town.
Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain - amazing views, restaurant on the top, you can walk on further to the cosmic ray station on an adjacent peak (via a walkway).
Hot springs.
Bus out to Sunshine - up on gondola to the hotel and restaurant then chair lift up to Sunshine Meadows. Really good.
Bus to Lake Louise - further. Touristy but unmissable.
Yes to Johnston Canyon also.
Have a fab time. You'll be fine on your own there - I spent a fair bit of time there on my own when partner doing an activity I couldn't take part in and it was fantastic and I'm not unduly intrepid!

AcrossthePond55 Sun 04-Aug-19 00:18:04

Lucky you! I'm trying to talk DH into including Banff next year in our annual RV trip.

VetOnCall Sun 04-Aug-19 04:56:28

I live in Calgary and spend lots of time in Banff. There is tons to do there - I would recommend hiring a car so you can get around the area, but there is public transport if that's not an option. The walk up Sulphur Mountain isn't difficult and has great views, you can get the gondola back down again. A bit further out of town you can hire kayaks on Lake Minnewanka, hike up to the falls at Johnson Canyon or go to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. The Larch Valley hike at Moraine is beautiful in the autumn. I like the Sunshine Meadows gondola too. You can definitely spend time just walking around the town too, there are a million souvenir shops but also some good outdoor stores etc. Have breakfast/brunch at Touloulou's and a drink at the Waldhaus pub at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel then walk down to see Bow Falls. Feel free to pm me if you need any specific info!

MooseBeTimeForSummer Sun 04-Aug-19 05:16:08

Parking at Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon can be crazy. Roam transit operates services to both from Banff Avenue for a few bucks each way.

Wild Flour Bakery and Cafe on Bear Street is good. Park Distillery on Banff Avenue (the Main Street) has a restaurant and bar attached. I really rate their Gin!

MooseBeTimeForSummer Sun 04-Aug-19 05:18:20

If you’re feeling adventurous and have a head for heights, the Via Ferrata at Mt Norquay ski area is well worth it.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 04-Aug-19 08:23:51

I won't be hiring a car and probably won't have time to go too far out (I'm mainly there for the riding trip so only have a day and a half ish for exploring!)
I'm thinking of doing stuff mainly around Banff such as the fenlands walk, walking to Vermillion lakes, Bow river falls and maybe tunnel mountain if I have time. I'm assuming these paths are safe to walk on your own!
Also I love a good souvenir shop so I'm glad there's loads! If anyone has any recommendations for a good poutine that'd be good...always wanted to try it smile

OP’s posts: |
BestIsWest Sun 04-Aug-19 09:42:45

Roam Transit is brilliant - the buses go just about everywhere - it’s about $2 and a 15 minute trip to get to Lake Minnewanka or the hot springs or the base of Sulphur Mountain orTunnel mountain It’s well worth paying for the Gondola to go up imho (have walked it but it took about 90 minutes up and coming down was agonising - I’m v unfit though) .

There should be plenty of people around on those walks.

BestIsWest Sun 04-Aug-19 09:43:58

Also Sulphur Mountain and Mt Norquay have free shuttles.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 04-Aug-19 10:08:59

That sounds good! Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Jonsnowsghost Sun 04-Aug-19 11:12:11

I've now booked a trip to lake louise and lake Moraine so that's exciting! It's a morning trip so I will still have around 3 hours in the afternoon to wander around Banff.

OP’s posts: |
TooDamnSarky Sun 04-Aug-19 11:14:52

I'm SO jealous! I travelled there (on my own) about 20 years ago and had the best time. Wonderful wonderful place!

TooDamnSarky Sun 04-Aug-19 11:16:45

So pleased you're going to Lake Louise. That was my highlight. Several hikes of varying length that are easily accessible and suitable to do on your own.

BestIsWest Sun 04-Aug-19 11:41:46

Brillian, both are stunning. The whole place is.

I echo pp recommendation of Wild flour cafe too. One of my favourite memories is sitting outside there on a sunny morning with a coffee and looking up at Cascade mountain.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 04-Aug-19 12:34:34

I'm going to the lakes with a group so not quite the freedom of going on my own but at least my mum will stop panicking if I do it this way grin (I'm 31 but she's still worried!) I really cant wait to see them.

OP’s posts: |
MooseBeTimeForSummer Sun 04-Aug-19 15:40:01

It’s a beautiful day! Take bug spray - the mosquitos are super vicious this year.

lovelyupnorth Sun 04-Aug-19 16:25:37

Just back. Suggest worth doing the lake louse gondola. If you do it early was very quite and only CA$2 extra for breakfast. If you pick up the Banff map can get a discount as well.

Johnson canyon again lovely walk but bottom section gets very busy so again suggest getting there early and going all the way up to the ink pots.

In Banff ice cream from Cow is awesome.

Again if you want to go near lake Louise itself get there early.

MrsEricBana Sun 04-Aug-19 22:44:14

All sounds amazing! Brilliant trip. You'll love it 😃

MrsEricBana Sun 04-Aug-19 22:45:31

One thing - elks are not "cute deer", they're dangerous! (Don't approach one like I did, going "Ooh look at the cute deer...")

MooseBeTimeForSummer Mon 05-Aug-19 19:58:04

Disturbing wildlife, including being too close to them or attempting to feed them can land you with a fine of up to $25,000

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